Anthony Steen MP is to retire at the next election, he has just told ConservativeHome
“The real issue is who can fix the country, and I have become a distraction, so have decided that I won’t stand again. I don’t want to risk the party losing the seat, so it is in the best interests of the party that I go. There has been no pressure from my association; they have been marvellous: members have been very put out by the Daily Telegraph coverage. I’ve had a very good innings, there’s no bitterness, no anger, but as the saying goes, all political careers end in tears.”
He will be able to spend more time gardening, saving the taxpayer a fortune. Voting blue in Totnes was perhaps going a little too “green” with Steen claiming some £88,000 in expenses for the upkeep of his garden. Guido will admit this, Steen goes with class, without desperately clinging onto the greasy pole.
UPDATE : The Tory press office says: “Sir Peter Viggers has confirmed that he will retire as MP for Gosport at the next election. He will do so at the direct request of David Cameron”. Out for a duck. Well fired for claiming £1,645 for a floating “duck island” in his garden pond. Quackers.